Automobile Event Data Recorders (EDR)

Event Data Recorders (EDR) are devices installed in motor vehicles to record technical vehicle and occupant information for a brief period before, during, and after a triggering event, typically a crash or near-crash event.  Sometimes referred to as “black-box” data, these data or event records can be valuable when analyzing and reconstructing an accident.  Exponent engineers have the specialized training and technical knowledge required to integrate physical evidence with EDR data and produce a comprehensive vehicle accident reconstruction analysis.

Certain vehicles manufactured by General Motors extending as far back as model year 1995, have EDR capability built into the Airbag Control Module (ACM). The number of vehicles capable of recording event data has increased over time and continued to expand under NHTSA Rule 49 CFR Part 563, such that the majority of new vehicles support module imaging.  Exponent’s vehicle engineers are capable of retrieving the data from these modules.

Recorded event data can include:


  • Multiple event records
  • Vehicle speed
  • Change in velocity (Delta-V)
  • Longitudinal acceleration
  • Lateral acceleration
  • Brake application
  • ABS activity
  • Seatbelt usage
  • Percent throttle
  • Engine speed
  • Steering wheel angle
  • Yaw rate
  • Roll angle
  • Gear selection
  • Tire pressure

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